Saturday, November 15, 2008

Progress is Slow

I've been beating my head up against the wall on this latest quilt. But that's ok, it turns out. It just means that I am breaking through - or trying to break through to a different level in my art.

So, I took my sister's advice and just starting making motifs in my chosen color scheme, and building the quilt on the pin up wall. Seems like every day I make a few motifs, place them up on the wall, and then I feel overwhelmed and have to go away until the next day. So, yeah. Progress is slow, but I'm gonna keep plugging away.

Here are some photos showing my progress:

This last photo has a lot of white space, I know. I will fill it in later with different little things. That is, if I decide to leave it this way.

In order to feel some sense of accomplishment, I have also been cooking a lot. I made a caramel apple pie the other day. It was delicious!

For the first time, I made the pie crust in my Cuisinart. It was so easy that way, I can't believe I never tried that before. If you haven't done that before, go to Crisco's website; they have a short video and everything. Easy as pie. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Then I just sprinkled the apples with cinnamon sugar. I didn't want too many flavors since I was using caramel. And the apples were very tart and a little dry.

For the topping, I had about 18 caramels which I melted in a small sauce pan with a little water. Then I stirred the caramel into chopped peanuts and oatmeal. Working quickly, I spread that concoction over the top of the pie. Quickly because once it cools, it ain't going nowhere.

Then I covered the pie with foil and baked it for a half hour at some temperature. I don't remember what it was. I took the pie out and poked at the apples to see how done they were. They were quite soft, but really still dry, even though I put several dabs of butter on them before putting the caramel topping on. So, I got the caramel topping for ice cream out of my fridge and squirted a bunch of that on the pie, covered it and let it cook another 15 minutes. It smelled so good!

Afterward, when I'd had a taste, I decided I wasn't getting enough of that caramel and peanut flavor that I wanted. It tasted a lot like oatmeal. So I think I will do it differently next time. But it still got gobbled up by my family. Yum!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Over Thinking It

You know how, when you look at a word too long, 
for example,
the word AQUEDUCT, 
it begins to look like you've misspelled it?

I had a similar experience recently. 

After the last quilt, I knew I wanted to continue working in this series, but the ideas weren't quite crystallizing in my mind. So, I set down to do some sketching.

I really liked the idea of these eggs or bubbles or whatever, the motif, overlapping. But then what? I continued drawing, but it wasn't coming together. So I tried again.

Nope, that's not it, either.
Naturally, I'm skimming through all my art quilt books to try and get ideas. And I'm being bombarded with ideas for layouts and color schemes and it's kinda confusing me. So I press on.

And now making these sketches is becoming a bit tedious because of all the detail I'm tempted to include. So I leave the detail out and go for a sort of shorthand, and even that is not making me happy. I'm beginning to get a little panicky. I don't feel like making any of these sketches into quilts would be fun or would be worth the effort.

Keep trying, I tell myself.

Now the big doubts are starting to surface. Why did I think I could be an artist? And other mental junk like that. I ignore it. Mostly.

In desperation, I sent all of these sketches to my sister.

Her advice?

It's only fabric. Start playing around and see what you come up with.

Playing around.


Why do I insist on thinking that making great art is going to mean grueling, frustrating work? 

Well...I'll be in my studio. You know what I'm doing. I'm having fun.